Woman Unfriends 700 Facebook Friends Post-Election —Left With 13
In the wake of the vitriolic and divisive election, a local woman unfriended all but 13 of her Facebook friends. The woman, who did not wish to be identified because she didn’t want to be swamped by emails or private messages, said that she had begun unfriending and unfollowing people before the election but after the results were announced, started jettisoning people with wild abandon and, after a while, found it difficult to stop.
After eliminating anyone who voted for the other candidate and was gloating or denigrating those who did not support their candidate and their politics, she moved on to unfriending those who voted for her candidate but were posting bitter post-mortems, full of finger-pointing, saccharine kumbaya musings or warnings of Armageddon, or anyone who had declared they were so disgusted with the major party candidates that they hadn’t even exercised their right to vote. While some of the articles she had read on friends’ walls were interesting and informative, the political posts became too stressful for her which is why, within a few days after the election, she found herself left with only a handful of “friends.” Among the people who remained on her Facebook feed were two women who loved to post recipes, a few friends who only shared cute cat, dog and baby videos (which she loved), her Canadian and European cousins, and her great-aunt, who was in the early stages of dementia and thought Reagan was still in the White House. When interviewed for this article, the woman said that while she was happy that her blood pressure has dropped to a safer number, she admitted that she found her newly configured Facebook somewhat boring, although she said she did smile when her timeline showed a post from her great-aunt who had asked her when the new season of Love Boat would be starting.
The woman considered retiring from Facebook entirely but realized she would ultimately miss the pictures of her friends’ children, grandchildren and life events. She even wrote to Mark Zuckerberg in hopes that he could invent a filter that allowed one to only view only non-political posts for a while, but received an email back saying that he was busy trying to establish a new headquarters for the company in Toronto.
Although a few of her former friends who had been guilty of what she felt were the most egregious and hateful posts were gone from her virtual life for good, most were still in the Facebook purgatory state of being unfollowed. She felt that as time went on she would either decide to follow those people again, or leave Facebook altogether and take up other hobbies, such as knitting. Whatever the future held, she only hoped that the country she loved would heal. While she was not naïve enough to think everyone in the United States, or on Facebook, would be friends again, she hoped that people, while still working to do what they felt was right politically, would find a way to remember the childhood, school, work, and neighborhood ties that had brought them together in the first place.
Further developments will be reported as they occur.